Although the show featured over a hundred people, Samantha Mason was among the most distinctive cast members of “My 600-lb Life.” She was a self-described ‘fetish eater model’ who nearly reached 1000lbs or about 450kgs at her peak weight and could barely care for herself. However, Samantha turned her life around after two operations, and weighed around 450lbs or 205kgs at the end of 2022. Despite her achievements, she still brands herself as a ‘super-sized big model.’ We analyzed Samantha’s progress during and after the show, and found out what she’s doing nowadays.
- 1 She appeared in the show out of desperation
- 2 Samantha’s life was at risk
- 3 She almost failed her weight loss goals
- 4 Dr. Hydery saved her
- 5 She kept pushing behind the scenes
- 6 She had a second operation
- 7 Samantha is still a content creator
- 8 She regretted not losing weight sooner
- 9 Samantha will almost undoubtedly stay single
- 10 She is sharing her struggles
- 11 Samantha started a new personal brand
- 12 Samantha is in a better place
She appeared in the show out of desperation
Samantha had a unique reason for maintaining her weight; her job was eating in front of the camera in her apartment, a branch of fetish modeling. Her video-streaming business blossomed, because enough people actually wanted to see larger women consume food, and rewarded them with more money as their weight increased. Thus, Samantha was incentivized to maintain her size, and only sought help once it endangered her life.
After undergoing bariatric surgery and reaching a much healthier weight in the show’s ninth season, Samantha continued losing weight alone. Despite her great results, afterwards she slandered the show’s producers and creators for disingenuous intentions. She also went through rehab, uses coloring books to improve her mental health, and is a TikTok content creator.
Samantha’s life was at risk
Samantha was paid handsomely to film herself consuming a lot of food, best known through one of its forms, mukbang or meokbang. Although this form is popular in countries such as Japan and South Korea, the concept recently attained global recognition, allowing Samantha to make a living through something she liked. However, her weight spiraled out of control in the process, and when Samantha reached around 950lbs or 430kgs, she felt desperate and lost, which made her turn to Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, or Dr. Now for help.
However, she later consistently claimed that appearing in the show was a mistake and criticized the production company. She began calling it ‘the “let’s exploit the fat people and laugh at them publicly” show’, and depicted her experience as equal to being ridiculed on national television. Moreover, she attacked the show’s claim of being a ‘reality TV show’, by claiming that they scripted some of her conversations with the doctor.
She almost failed her weight loss goals
When Samantha stepped into Dr. Now’s clinic, she was above 800lbs or 360kgs. Unfortunately, she couldn’t follow the program, gaining weight while supposedly eating the right food and doing her prescribed exercise. Regardless of her failures, viewers were pleased that she had a noble goal – being there for her daughter Isabella’s important life events.
Samantha remained positive despite her daughter’s initial fears when the episode aired in December 2020, and her constant snacking and food sneaking. However, she complained of stomach, shoulder and chest pain, and spent much time in the hospital. Unfortunately, the doctors had to run many tests and await results, allowing her to cheat on the doctor’s well-known 1,200-calorie low-carb, low-fat, high-protein, high-fiber diet while there. Consequently, she eventually weighed about 975lbs or over 440kgs.
Samantha also lost bladder control, and started wetting the bed because she couldn’t get up in time, prompting her to lie in waste for a long time before calling the nurse. Thus, the viewers’ opinions changed – they thought she was a lost cause, and after she agreed to get back on track and only lost 10bs or 5kgs before plateauing, they were convinced, and wrote her off.
Dr. Hydery saved her
While searching for the cause of the mysterious pain, Dr. Now felt Samantha’s options were dwindling, and he was helpless. She was stuck in Colorado, and the pandemic and her size made it impossible for her to get to Houston, Texas, and stay at his clinic, because no vehicle could fit her in. Thankfully, he found colleague Dr. Hydery, based in Denver, who agreed to save her life.
After assessing the situation, he performed a gastric sleeve operation, which finally led to success. Samantha’s weight eventually dropped from 940lbs or 425kgs to about 640lbs or 290kgs. However, she still seemed dissatisfied; she was eating less and working out, but food had been her source of happiness and money, and she was lost.
Here’s what Samantha Mason from #TLC's "My 600-Lb Life” is doing today.
Posted by The List on Wednesday, September 8, 2021
She kept pushing behind the scenes
Since Samantha criticized the show, her fans assumed that she wouldn’t return for the “Where Are They Now?” episode, typically filmed and aired a year or so later. While that proved true, she credited the weight loss surgery for changing her life, and appreciated what the doctor did for her. She also claimed that she had more secrets to unveil and that not everything the viewers see is true.
Moreover, Samantha, being a long-time content creator, appreciated the fans that she has acquired and wanted to keep herself accountable. Thus, she posted her height and weight measurements in her Twitter biography. She reduced her weight over time, and listed them as 6ft 2ins” or 188cms, and 450lbs or 205kgs in May 2023. That means that Samantha lost about 350lbs or 160kgs between her episode and mid-2023, and close to 550lbs or 250kgs compared to her peak weight.
Finally, Samantha added that she started therapy in early 2021, because she was ‘taking advantage of everything that she possibly could while trying to heal.’ Whether her therapist suggested it or discovered it herself, Samantha revealed to her fans that she began using coloring books as a creative outlet, and a tool for a calmer lifestyle.
She had a second operation
Samantha revealed in October 2020 that she’d had another operation, this time an abdominal one, called a panniculectomy. She stated that the doctor made an incision stretching 6ft or 183cms, and so she lost 80lbs or over 35kgs of dead tissue, as the operation removed the stretched-out unnecessary skin and overhanging fat. Samantha revealed that she lost 114lbs or over 50kg between the time she entered the operating room and got home.
While not as drastic and visually pleasing as a tummy tuck, it took a toll on her body, and thus required longer recovery and closer attention. Unsurprisingly, she had trouble with internal bleeding, but she bounced back after transfusions and bandage changes. She later shared her excitement, comparing her operation to ‘getting a new car and seeing what it can do.’
Samantha is still a content creator
Old habits die hard, as they say. Samantha struggled with losing constant food access, and her job opportunities seemingly dwindled as her weight decreased. Luckily, she found a way to make money safely from her passion and appearance.
After being active on Instagram and Facebook for a while, she transitioned to Twitter and TikTok, on which she posts videos under the pseudonym “Vanilla Hippo” and “SSBBW Vanilla Hippo,” where SSBBW stands for “a super-sized big beautiful woman.” Moreover, she created profiles on a forum and modeling site for plus-size women, BBW Royalty, and a pay-for-content and subscription platform OnlyFans, often associated with NSFW (Not Safe For Work) content. Also, her Twitter bio revealed that she creates content from her home state, Colorado, meaning she hasn’t relocated.
She regretted not losing weight sooner
Although viewers saw her regret for not losing weight earlier, and take the weight off her daughter’s shoulders, Samantha shared another personal story. She admitted that she only had two people in her circle of friends who lived in her city, and one committed suicide in late 2020 or early 2021. She said that the friend had a Nintendo Switch Lite console, while she had a Nintendo Switch, so the friend often offered to come over for joint gaming sessions.
Not Vanilla Hippo! #my600lblife pic.twitter.com/YknxJ7jJzY
— Friendly Neighbourhood Thot Pocket (@thotpocket8) December 31, 2020
However, Samantha stated that she felt self-conscious and ‘different from the waist up than from the waist down,’ so she refused each offer. Unfortunately, it took her friend’s devastating death for Samantha to realize that the friend wouldn’t have cared. She regretted not caring for her health and appearance sooner, because they could have played a game that they both loved, “Animal Crossing,” together and in person.
Although she didn’t admit it, the event undoubtedly pushed her into cranking the dial on her journey to slim down. When asked what her message to her younger self would be, she said in April 2023, ‘Stop eating and go hang out with your dad on Good Friday of 2003!’
Samantha will almost undoubtedly stay single
Samantha has long realized that she finds peace and beauty in being alone, and that ‘the human experience is extremely overrated.’ Thus, the only partners she wants are cats, dogs, snakes, and pigs; if she could, she would also keep dinosaurs and unicorns. Additionally, she cannot remember if she was a romantic, because many years have passed since she dated.
However, her potential suitors should know that Samantha loved the ‘flower child generation‘ of the 1990s, and that the “Forrest Gump” soundtrack saved her life after her teen pregnancy struggles. Also, her favorite band will always be “The Grateful Dead,” and she loves watching “Seinfeld,” her favorite TV show of the 1990s.
She is sharing her struggles
Samantha realized that she has agoraphobia, a fear of leaving a familiar environment and that it did not go away after losing weight. Moreover, she still has manic episodes, when she cleans, plans, or rambles but no longer reaches for food. However, she’s shared some of her episodes to show her followers how she handled her anxiety, and encouraged them to speak to their loved ones. Samantha also calls herself ‘blind-ish’, and has put a LASIK eye operation on her list of future procedures.
Samantha started a new personal brand
After losing roughly half her weight between her debut and 2023, Samantha has turned her life around, and it shows. She is now an avid TikTok, OnlyFans, and BBW Royalty content creator, and is open about her love for animals, food and horror movies. She rebranded herself as a ‘skinny mukbanger’, and thus found a profitable niche as an eating fetish model.
She is also honest about her weight loss journey on social media, and gives tips or shares stories about her journey. For instance, Samantha shared that her gastric sleeve operation caused increased acid reflux, and thus made her throw up more often. While she luckily never developed bulimia, she had more tooth cavities, and had to visit the dentist more often.
Samantha is in a better place
Although she hasn’t fully beat her addiction, Samantha’s weight shows that she is no longer ‘waking up thinking about meals and going to sleep thinking of meals,’ as she stated. With the help of a therapist, she addressed her trauma, such as breaking up from her boyfriend two weeks after the birth of their daughter, which they conceived when Samantha was 17.
Moreover, she turned her size into a source of income again, but this time keeps her weight in check while producing content. That came from her admitting that fetish modeling was unhealthy, and a perfect community to reinforce her worst habits.
Samantha also realized that she couldn’t satisfy everyone after reading people’s comments on her social media profiles. Moreover, she gives parenting tips, for example, giving her daughter a Word Search sheet, allowing her to learn to read and be excellent at spelling while having fun. She revealed that her weight in early April 2023 was close to 400lbs or 180kgs but that her goal was 200lbs or 90kgs – perhaps wisely, she hasn’t set a time limit!